harvest-2016-2After nearly three decades, Bill Gold has stepped down from the governing body of the Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm. This letter was read at our 2016 Harvest Festival.

Dear Bill,

When we sat down to discuss your profound contributions to the Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm, it immediately became clear just how deep your connection is to this place and how much of yourself you have poured into it. You have been one of the true champions of the farm, of healthy eating, of caring for the earth, and of environmental activism. You have been a tireless cheerleader of our mission and a faithful and diligent chairman of the board. Your kindness, knowledge, enthusiasm, and humor will be sorely missed.

You have been chair of the board since its inception and even before, when it was the “Core Group.” The CSG evolved from small beginnings to what it is today because of your passion for and dedication to sustainable farming, the CSG concept, and clean healthy food. You have donated countless hours to manage the legal affairs of the CSG: the formation of the organization, leases with the Dominican Sisters, loans, grants, and inheriting the Moore Farm. Your work allowed the CSG to invest in the land and expand production, and now we have the Garden House, the orchards, and Chan’s to show for that. Without your sustained and loyal efforts in the early years, our farm would not be the strong, proud organization it is today.

Among your many special skills is a willingness to engage people and topics directly and civilly. You understand the mechanics and pitfalls of consensus planning, and you remained patient as the leader of our diverse, contentious board deliberations. Your calm legal perspective enabled us to proceed with confidence, knowing that you had our backs. By now you have moderated and attended thousands of hours of meetings; you have led the CSG through every kind of problem and challenge.

But your commitment goes far beyond that. You have put so much sweat equity into the farm as well, from the raising of the Garden House to helping with repair and building projects, weeding, harvesting, and staffing open houses. You were instrumental in making sure that the farmers had health insurance and a pension plan. You helped us acquire and build solar panels and solar hot water heaters, converting the farm to sustainable energy. You have singlehandedly recruited many new members, convincing them of the importance of better eating habits. You are renowned for your spectacular bonfire-building skills and for brightening our board meetings with his homemade sauerkraut.

This list is not exhaustive; in fact, it only begins to tell the story of how important you have been to the Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm. You were key in fomenting a ‘start up’ enthusiasm in the early days, and that spirit still lingers as our organization matures and moves into the next generation is part of your legacy. You were and are a friend to us in so many ways. We treasure your role as fire keeper at the Harvest Festival every year, and we hope you will not retire from that. We miss your leadership, but it is our dearest wish that we do not have the opportunity to miss you.

With love,
The Board and CSG Community